Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) (part 6 of 11)

Simmons is told that Sam has been trying to reach him. The two talk, and Sam convinces Simmons to get involved, which he does after changing clothes and heading to visit Sam. There’s a brief cutaway to Sentinel and Optimus talking, then back to Sam’s apartment where Simmons is working alongside Dutch and Sam.

As they work, Bruce shows up for some reason. He gives Sam some papers and then proceeds to shadow box Bumblebee. This all makes as much sense as you’d expect. He then leaves, just in time for Carly to show up. Dutch gets ordered to frisk her, but then that doesn’t happen. Simmons makes some taunting comment to Dutch about missing his chance, to which Dutch replies that he has a girlfriend. In true 8th grade dick mode, Simmons asks for her name and Dutch makes up something fake.

So, really, again, we have no real purpose to a scene beyond stupid antics. Any information given was minimal and could have been handled better. So we trim this, removing another 3 minutes and 30 seconds, bringing us to a grand total of 14 minutes and 25 seconds trimmed from the movie.

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At the end of the scene, Carly starts bitching about how she doesn’t want to see Sam go off and get killed (putting her in the minority), and then heads off to a party at her boss’ place. Before she does, she takes the rabbit she’d given Sam and rips a leg off it, handing it to him. Well, I guess that’s better than boiling it in a pot.

Simmons commiserates a bit with Sam, and then they go driving off to find some Russian cosmonauts. As they do, Simmons makes special mention of the fact that they are riding in a Maybach. Yes, the only thing better than product placement is blatant product placement!

They track down the cosmonauts pretty easily, and spend time observing them through insanely large, likely insanely powerful, binoculars. The kind you’d probably want to use if you were looking at something a mile or two away. Instead here, the targets are about twenty feet from them.

Caption contributed by The Wily Badger

New from Bay Medical Services: Skin cancer screenings on the go!

Sam and crew follow the cosmonauts into a bar, where we see one of them is played by noted character actor Elya Baskin, presumably killing time while waiting for Robin Williams to phone him about Moscow on the Hudson 2: Vladimir’s Revenge.

Caption contributed by The Wily Badger

Also dueling with Williams for the title of World’s Hairiest Non-Werewolf.

There’s some brief conversation and then things very suddenly go downhill, with guns being pulled and a woman “hilariously” sticking her pistol right against Simmons’ nose.

Caption contributed by The Wily Badger

Watch this movie, or we’ll shoot this man.

As this happens, we see Dutch start to twitch, then suddenly pull off a disarming move and wind up with a shotgun in one hand and a pistol in the other. Simmons calms him down and Dutch begins apologizing, mumbling about that being “the old me,” as I roll my eyes once more.

Once things calm down, Sam, Simmons and the cosmonauts move to a private room where they look over some photos from Luna 4, because as we all know, cosmonauts carry classified photos around with them. As they do, Sam notices one showing a very large number of pillars, and figures that the Decepticons have them. That means that they will need to kidnap Sentinel Prime, so he gets moving to make sure ole Senty has some protection. He also calls Mearing and tells her what’s going on.

Now comes one of the only really cool and well-done action scenes in the film. The Autobots are driving along a major freeway in Washington, DC, trying to get to safety. As they do, along come some Decepticons and they start attacking.

The battle sequence here is pretty well done. You have three Decepticons attacking five Autobots. The only thing the Autobots are doing is trying to escape. It’s all very nicely done and entertaining, especially one shot where, as he drives, Bumblebee goes into robot mode to avoid some debris, ejecting Sam in the process, and then catching him and transforming back. It’s really cool! Of course it is dragged down somewhat by Sam screaming like a little bitch the entire time.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) (part 6 of 11)

The chase concludes with Ironhide, some other Autobot, and two Decepticons in a face-off. One of the Decepticons appears to be a Predator.

Caption contributed by The Wily Badger

Next time on Dateline: “To Catch a Predator”!

The Autobots offer to let the Decepticons drop their weapons and leave. They drop their weapons, but of course have more, so there’s another small fight that ends with Ironhide kicking one of them into a building, causing the building to explode (because everything is explodable in a Michael Bay movie!). Of course, there were probably people hiding out in that building, trying not to be killed. Joke’s on them, eh?

Once everyone is at the NEST base in the city, Sentinel whips out his gun and shoots Ironhide. Turns out that ol’ Senty was actually working with the Decepticons all along. He shoots at Bumblebee, does some damage to the base, kills some NEST guys, and then leaves as Ironhide dies.

Caption contributed by The Wily Badger

Brought low by the mightiest of threats to the Autobot; the rust monster

Okay, I’m confused. Not by Sentinel being a traitor; I could care less about that. No, I’m confused why he chose the moment he did to reveal himself and attack everyone, then escape. Surely the better idea would have been to attack the Autobots alongside the three Decepticons from earlier, then go to the NEST base and kill everyone there? He could have wiped out Ironhide, Bumblebee and whoever the other two are, plus the three Decepticons wouldn’t have been killed. Okay, maybe he was willing to write them off and see them die, but tactically it still would have been the better option.

We catch up to Sentinel at another NEST base. At least I think it’s a different one. It looks like it’s near an airfield or something, and not in the middle of DC, or even Chicago pretending to be DC. But Sam and the NEST boys are there, so I guess it’s the same place? Mearing, upon her arrival, makes mention of a back gate, but I’m not buying it.

Caption contributed by The Wily Badger

Not in the middle of a city.

Anyhow, Sentinel is rampaging through the base, throwing airplanes and calling on Mearing to “return what belongs to me!”

Caption contributed by The Wily Badger

“Return the map! Return! Return! Return what you have stolen from me!”

Sentinel leaves and Optimus shows up just after the nick of time. From the way things are being staged, I guess I have to conclude that this is indeed supposed to be the same NEST base in the middle of DC, but it sure doesn’t seem that way.

Multi-Part Article: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

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  • Monterey Jack

    A TEXT RECAP?! How did *this* happen…?

    • Tad Whatever

      DERP DERP

    • We like to try and keep you on your toes with the unexpected. 😉

    • Brian

      Indeed. And I’m thankful, the text recaps are vastly more interesting and entertaining than the video recaps.

  • Ed

    God, the only reason I rented this movie was because the fast-forward button on my remote was feeling lonely and unwanted. Pretty good recap.

  • Steven Pryor

    I agree. Instead of a sequel, I’d favor a reboot with a new cast and creative team. Get Michael Bay off it and get a nerd who grew up watching the show and playing with the toys. Derrick J. Wyatt, character designer of Transformers Animated, filled his show with great references to past series. Jeff Kline, supervising producer of Transformers Prime, has so far made the show with homages to many other Transformers continuities. Another thing-I support the next film having a lower budget and a shorter runtime (in the ballpark of a solid 2 hours should do it).

    • Frighteningly, it sounds like Bay might be in negotiations for another one… http://www.toplessrobot.com/2011/12/michael_bay_is_still_a_ing_liar.php

      • Steven Pryor

        Oh, Primus, no.
        Here’s what I would do-start with the war between the Autobots and Decepticons millions of years ago. Have them crash-land on Earth and get their alt-modes in the present day. Get rid of Shia LaBeouf and cast an unknown as Spike. Not Sam, Spike. I’d include some dynamic with him and Bumblebee, but the focus would be on the robots. No underwear-model girls who can’t act, no racist human and robot characters, and no shots of John Turturro’s ass. I like your idea of getting characters like Ultra Magnus and Hot Rod in there. I would add Blurr (preferably voiced by John Moschitta Jr.), Sgt. Kup, and characters from other continuities like Animated, Beast Wars, and The Unicron Trilogy like Hot Shot and Bulkhead. The runtime could be just an even 2 hours, not the bladder-testing 8-hour trilogy this is. I started watching the G1 cartoon when it came on The Hub, and it is great. I am appalled that they even let Bay touch this series and could be giving him another shot. If this all comes down to, I await another entertaining recap.

    • Cristiona

      No, it doesn’t need a nerd at the helm, and that would probably be the worst thing for it. What it needs is a solid script from a yeoman sci-fi writer, and a director that didn’t get his start doing music videos or commercials.

      It needs a producer who understands that people want robots fighting each other, not “wacky” government agents, “wacky” parents, lame ass nerd-insertion characters, or any of the other bullshit this series keeps shoveling.

  • Commanderraf

    Wait… on the second page the flag is indeed the Iranian flag… BUT UPSIDE DOWN.
    I guess Mr. Bay thought that if the flag was backwards no one would recognize it.
    He is a real genius, Mr. Bay…

  • handsome pete

    I didn’t grow up with Transformers or anything, but I did see a little of G1 a year ago (pretty good I thought) and I swear there was something somewhere about humans being enslaved by Decepticons.
    Also I’m thinking that Bay didn’t understand the significance of the original line, because the way that it’s used here feels kind of like a rebuttal, which is just absurd.

  • Keith

    The whole “Bring Cybertron to Earth” plot was also used in the original cartoon. But that time, the gravitational effects started to wreak havok and begin to destroy the Earth, so even a half hour long 80’s toy commercial was more scientifically accurate than Bay’s movie.

  • rainflyx

    My soul died a little as I confirmed via IMDB that, indeed, Dutch is played by Alan Tudyk. That is just… just wrong. I don’t know why Malkovich and Nemoy’s roles don’t bother or surprise me (they should, they’re much bigger names), but this cuts me in a very deep and defensive place. Micheal Bay, you’re a bastard.

    • If it makes you feel any better, it’s clear Tudyk just re-used his performance as a vaguely gay German stereotype in 28 Days so as to expend as little effort as possible.

      • rainflyx

        It… it does, actually. Thank you, MudPuppy!

  • CBob

    I watched the G1 shows as a kid, and read a few of the comic books of the same era. Don’t remember much about it all other than that I enjoyed it at the time, so a lot of the changes Michael Bay made are neither here nor there to me. Doesn’t mean I think they’re better movies, just that I don’t experience the added pain of betrayed fandom.

    …Mostly. I do remember that I liked both Soundwave and Shockwave as a kid, so I was kinda dissapointed to see them wasted as glorified mooks. I liked Soundwave because he was always cool, professional, and competent, as opposed to the rest of the Decepticons who were all whiners or schemers or egomaniacs or psychos or bullies and usually fantastically bad at their jobs (even Megatron, IIRC). Him prominently being Megatron’s second in command made for a good dramatic contrast.

    Shockwave was fascinating because he was a super intelligent, game-breakingly powerful individual who could probably win the war single handedly, yet preferred to stay low key off in the background. I always felt like the only way he made sense was if he was actually playing a long game of some kind for much higher stakes than Decepticons vs Autobots. Like he didn’t actually care about the factions or ideologies, just so long as the war fulfilled the role he needed it to in the bigger picture. And the fact that he’s hard core hyper-rational means that whatever he might working/planning towards, it probably isn’t anything like personal power or ambition.

    • And in this movie Shockwave is a growly, snarly snake thing who can’t talk! 😀 Isn’t progress wonderful?

      • CBob

        Yeah. It kinda reminds me of what was done to Bane in “Batman & Robin”.

  • DamonD

    Grew up with G1, watched all the cartoons, bought many of the toys and had virtually every issue of the Marvel (UK) comic.

    I drifted away, and haven’t really come back but always have childhood fondness for the characters. This lot…well, it’s not those characters anymore. Not that Shockwave, not that Starscream, saddest yet it’s not much that Optimus Prime either (“We will kill them all” ?!)

    I remember thanking you for reviewing the previous film so I wouldn’t have to watch the blasted thing.
    So again, many thanks for a fun review and a public service provided. I’m glad not to have spent a single minute watching or given a single penny to Bay for any of these three films.

    • You know, I still say the first one was pretty good. It wasn’t great, but it was pretty good. But, wow, have they ever gone downhill since then.

  • SMEG!

    Best part of the whole review. Well, best part of page 2 of the review, anyway.

  • Arcadiassx999

    Crap, a text review? Umm, how do you read again? Is it 1,2,3’s or the A,B,C’s Oh Well I’ll wing it, just like Michael Beys directorial style.
    Excellent review thanks for ripping this apart for me, but what gets me is that your asking for more?? Please, the best way to not get these projects done or any new star trek or star wars continuation is to NOT SEE IT.
    Not going to see their crappy high school a.v.a. “look at me mom I’m a writer/director”
    (“Jar Jar” Abrams, Michael Bey, Uwe Boll, R.D.Moore) projects is akin to a nice swift kick in the balls. Because in the end after they’ve made a shit ton of sickening garbage they turn to you (as they light a joint with a hundred dollar bill) and say: “Hey, You asked for it kiddo.”
    BTW is “Spielberg the Businessman” still attached to these Transformer abominations?

  • Cristiona

    “Before she does, she takes the rabbit she’d given Sam and rips a leg off it, handing it to him.”

    Wait… what?!

    Also, just to nitpick, John DeLancie played Star Trek godling-Q, not James Bond gadget-Q. You’d want John Cleese or the resurrected corpse of Desmond Llewelyn.

    • No, no, I fully meant John de Lancie when I typed that. I figured that was funnier. 🙂

    • It’s the culmination of a really pointless running gag. She bought the bunny for Sam for luck, and he immediately whines that only the rabbit’s foot is lucky. So, over half an hour after anyone has stopped even remotely caring, she gives him his rabbit’s foot.

      • Cristiona

        Was it a stuffed bunny? I have this horrible mental image of Bay going all Mondo and having his actress mutilate a real rabbit.

        • Yes, it was the sames tuffed bunny you see in the recap.

    • Rhotomago

      Well John DeLancie playing as Star Trek’s Q would still be a better Wheel-Jack than the Balding Irish Que abomination that actually appeared in this cinematic spectacle.

  • Olaf_the_Lofty

    I enjoyed this very much. Many laughs, many thanks. A few points:
    The VLA was only approved for funding in 1972; it was finished in 1980. How did it come to be active in 1961?
    Smeg is a very expensive brand of white goods in Europe (http://www.smeg.com). This doesn’t stop people who watched “Red Dwarf” laughing at it.
    “Also notice that the LEM appears to still be on the surface, which begs a question or two.” Excellent point. Leaving the ascent stage behind is just utter stupidity.
    “talking about the dark side of the moon” – as anyone who’s listened to “Dark Side of the Moon” can tell you, “There is no dark side of the moon, really. As a matter of fact, it’s all dark.”
    “She starts talking to her son about how large his penis is.” Speaking as a man of forty-one, I have never had this discussion with my mother, and I can’t say I’m at all sorry.
    “Transformers: Turn Off the Movie”. Possibly the best joke here.
    Thank you again!

  • Rhotomago

    I didn’t realize your dedication to deconstructing this piece of work until I saw the screen shot of the predator-decepticon(predicon ?).Apart from Bumblebee and that red guy every other robot on screen looked like an homogeneous silvery mass of spinning gears,but that was one of the least irritating things in the movie.
    Centinel Prime was such an irredeemable jerkass you have to wonder why the Autobots ever followed him.Optimus Prime was so bloodthirsty he should have been renamed Punisher-Prime and what was with the Autobots taunting that Decepticon they shot down “this is gonna hurt….a lot” before tearing him apart with their bare hands(if robots can be said to have bare hands?) at least the Decepticons executed their enemies humanely(robotly?)
    But the dumbest moment for me has to be when a soldier realizes he has only one round left in his rocket launcher to take out Centinel’s control pillar and Sam tells him “one shot is all we need”.The mail room butt-monkey gets to school the professional soldier in field tactics ,why exactly?
    If Sam was advising him how to score hotties way out of his league while being a whiney bitch I could understand.

  • Scott

    One thing you forgot to mention: moon sand is Incredibly corrosive. By the time they got there, it’s more than likely Sentinel would have been mostly gone.

    • CBob

      Well, not really. Moon dust isn’t corrosive, it’s abrasive. Without air currents or geologic activity to stir things up, Sentinel would be okay.

      Mostly. Probably. Moon dust is also highly invasive. It’s like fiberglass dust, only heavier and with a static electric charge. The slightest disturbance, and the stuff gets lodged everywhere and won’t come out. That plus the abrasiveness could really suck for a robot with so many exposed moving parts.

  • Erin

    Great review! And thanks for writing one instead of video. They’re a problem for lots of reasons.

    Anyway, you hit on a lot. Why would anyone like Sam? Not only is annoying, he’s mental! Losing it and kicking the car like that – someone should have committed him. And the stupidity with things like trained military personnel forgetting they were just given grappling hooks and plunging to their deaths instead of saving themselves with these tools… Wtf?

    Same with Bay not noticing he was ripping off 9-11 and the shuttle destruction…. and thinking that’s okay?

    And the biggest stupidity: the movies are called Transformers. So why would we want LESS of them and MORE of idiotic human beings?

    Idiotic humans like the ones who gave Bay the OK to make another Transformers movie after 2. Megan Fox supposedly got fired for saying the movie was crap. Which makes her the only smart one involved.

  • Kevin

    Loved the review. I didn’t mind the whole bringing Cybertron into Earth orbit things, since it was an homage to the original animated cartoon (which did it better by using, um what’s that thing called… yeah science).

    However, these three movies makes me believe that if there are other Transformers movies, they need to go the reboot route and keep it to the pre-movie robots minus the Dinobots. I have no desire to see Quintessons, Galvatron, or any of the characters from the first movie brought into this franchise.

  • Youfeelingluckypunk27

    ‘Not stereotypical in any way’. From where I’m sitting, Sam looks like he wants to be hired by Bert Cooper.

  • Olaf_the_Lofty

    If you can’t be bothered to watch the film, someone’s considerately made an abridgement of all three parts in two minutes:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF5c_K7YZhA
    Warning: loud and sweary. Also (in my opinion) very funny. “Yes, this is how I sit! Problem?”

    • CBob

      Ahh, that was hilarious!

  • Ghost of Ravenstar

    I really liked the movie depiction of Megatron, though Michael Bay almost certainly didn’t write him the way I took him. Megatron comes across as a villain who has been beaten so many times by now that he just doesn’t care anymore. Every line he speaks seems half tired bravado and half desperate self-reassurance. His desire for a truce also seems genuine, as he could’ve very easily just kept on firing after Sentinel Prime was out of the fight, his gun isn’t out of rounds, as Optimus displays after brutally murdering him in cold blood.
    Also, is there some supplementary material about Sentinel Prime’s shield being some kind of magical artefact? While he holds it, he is literally unbeatable. It reflects everything from gunshots to the Energon axe with zero damage to show for it, and I don’t even recall Sentinel’s chassis showing damage after being beaten on by both the human and autobot forces. Then he drops the shield to kill Optimus, and he’s being shot to pieces in less than a second. This can’t be a coincidence.

  • Sand Ripper

    Special effects are expensive, which is why these movies focus on the humans so much. 😉 Problem is, the human characters are all one-dimensional and annoying and there are too many of them. And when we get the giant robot action, most of the time you can’t even tell which robot is which or what is going on because the designs of the robots and the way the action is shot are way too incoherent.

    Two hours of non-stop robot fighting sounds fun, but without anyone to care about it would get boring fast. Be careful what you wish for. 😉

    • Patrick Little

       Maybe if they didn’t insist on the robot designs looking like a junkyard threw up and made them look more like, I dunno, Transformers, the effects wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg and they could put the title characters in their own movies more.
      And if they would hire writers that knew their asses from holes in the ground we’d care about the Transformers as characters rather than effects, and we could have our cake and eat it too. Sadly these movies are made by Michael “Uwe Boll with a bigger budget” Bay.

  • Patrick Little

    You liked Sam in the first movie? You have a much, much higher tolerance for Shia LaBeouf’s “acting” than I do, it seems.

  • Patrick Little

    Wow…Just finished reading the entire recap. I have to say, that if I had a time machine, and could only prevent either Michael Bay or Hitler from being born, I’d have to really, really think about it.
    Seriously, I hated the first movie with every fiber of my being. It’s perhaps the only movie I’ve ever sat through that had absolutely zero redeeming qualities to it. The fact that this one sounds exponentially worse is simply staggering. I really can’t fathom how movies with budgets as huge as this don’t have anyone in charge read the script and go “Hey, there’s like 40 things in here that don’t make any fucking sense, how about a rewrite or two?”
    In short, I hate Michael Bay so, so much, and wish nothing more than to see his career end, before he inflicts another movie on the world.

  • Tamsin

    I bet that Screamer never anticipated he’d be killed by someone even more shrill, whiny and underhanded than he!

    I had a dream once that I was on a plane, and Jerry Wang was on the plane in the seat behind me, and I called him by his nickname. Then the plane tilted to the side and I said “I SAID ‘”DEEP” WANG’, NOT ‘DIP WING’!”

  • Toby Clark

    In defense of the “Needs of the many” reference, you’re kinda supposed to be angry about it – the way Sentinel misuses it demonstrates how little he cares about the seven billion residents of the planet he’s invading.

    • I really don’t think the filmmakers gave it that much thought. The process for the line was probably more : ‘Leonard Nimoy – Poignant Star Trek Quote – Fan reference – yay!’